June 10, 2015 - A cosmetologist, Shana Wilson, is suing the Sherman Oaks salon that denied her breaks and then fired her for getting pregnant and preparing for maternity leave. Her allegations of the abusive conditions at the salon are similar to other allegations being made in similar businesses in other California cities.
Ms. Wilson filed suit against Nail Garden and her supervisors at the salon, Marc and Sally Awad. Allegations include in Wilson’s suit include pregnancy discrimination and harassment, wrongful termination, failure to prevent harassment, workplace retaliation, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, etc. Suit was filed seeking compensation (of an unspecified amount) and punitive damages as well as a desired injunction that would prevent the Nail Garden salon from continuing the same treatment in the future.
Wilson claims she was hired as a licensed cosmetologist in February 2014 after demonstrating her abilities for the Awads. Her job duties included: styling hair, manicures, pedicures and waxing. During her employment, Wilson indicates that she regularly received praise regarding her work from both clients and her employers. Her hairstyling was seen as particularly excellent and was featured numerous times on their Nail Garden social media sites.
Even so, Wilson claims that as soon as she became pregnant (three months after being hired) she was harassed. When she started to have stomach pains in response to bending over to perform pedicures for clients, she requested a reprieve from that particular job duty. Sally Awad started to criticize Wilson’s work and reduced her hours from a full 40-hour work week to 32 hours.
According to the suit, one week after Wilson asked about taking maternity leave, Marc Awad advised her that she was fired due to “complaints about her nail work” from clients. Wilson claims that she was fired because she was pregnant and was planning to take maternity leave. Wilson also alleges that during her time at Nail Garden, her supervisors had her take clients during her breaks and that she did not receive the required itemized statement of hours worked and wages earned. She claims that Nail Garden purposefully failed to compensate her for the full amount of hours she put in on the job.
The problem is so widespread amongst salons that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that he will establish a task force to look into the matter as many are claiming that employees at such establishments are being short-changed and asked to work in unsafe working conditions.
If you need additional information regarding appropriate workplace conditions, wrongful termination or pregnancy discrimination, contact the southern California employment law experts at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik./contact